Entrepreneur Jennifer Duthie is putting her best feet forward after securing a cash bonanza from TV’s Dragons’ Den.
The 28-year-old, from Blackpool, pitched to the show’s business brains - Deborah Meaden, Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney - in Sunday night’s episode.
While all five Dragons could see the value of her children’s trainers, called Skribbies, it was designer Hoppen and web entrepreneur Linney who signed up to invest £60,000 in the business in return for a 25 per cent share.
Her design allows youngsters to draw on the trainers before wiping them clean - like a school whiteboard.
Linney said they were ‘cool’ before making his partial offer, of £30,000 for 12.5per cent share, matched by Hoppen who promised her design industry contacts and knowledge, and said the shoes were an ‘absolutely great idea’.
Jennifer, who attended Arnold School and lives near Stanley Park, brought the “ahhhh factor” to the Den, recruiting her eight-year-old brother and a friend’s children to demonstrate the trainers - which were also handed over for the Dragons to try for themselves. Long-standing Dragons Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones even spelt out their intentions to the former banking and advertising worker on the shoes, with Jones claiming he was “The best dragon” and Bannatyne scrawling “I’m Out”.
After filming at the start of April, the paperwork for Jennifer’s deal with the Dragons is due to be completed in the next few weeks.
“I’ve had a meeting with Piers and Kelly to prepare for the show being aired - things like making sure the website could handle it,” Jennifer said. “But it still crashed, despite spending money to prevent that.
“They are both great people and it’s a pleasure to work with them. We were surprised to get an offer. We were hopeful but weren’t betting on it.
“While you know more what Deborah, Peter and Duncan are about, Kelly has the design and media contacts, and Piers is a dad, so really got the product.”